With the takeover of Mr. Sinister in Sins of Sinister #1, life for mutants has been rough. This week sees the release of Storm and the brotherhood of mutants #1, which follows Storm and her gang on a quest to save mutants. Life for the mutants has been altered, Arrako is gone, but Storm fights on with a rag-tag group of survivors. Dangerous alliances are formed, lives are lost, and Sinister is still a cocky jerk. This issue is written by Al Ewing, the regular writer on X-Men Red. Paco Medina on pencils, Jay David Ramos on colors, and Ariana Maher on letters are joining him on this journey.
Storm and the brotherhood of mutants #1 is kind of a big issue because it is the first comic released after the alpha issue. Al Ewing had to reel readers and give them faith in the event. With this issue, we get the introduction of some new characters, Ironfire, and some older characters who have changed their appearance, like Cable. This issue takes place ten years in the future, so things are altered. We don’t know everything that has happened between the present and the last ten years, but Ewing does fill in some gaps. What works best for Ewing on this issue is the voice he gives everyone. The characters feel genuine, like Mystique still being a conniving mutant out for herself. The introduction of Ironfire is a welcome addition. Ewing uses him to fill the tough guy role in the group, and he comes off as Storm’s right-hand man. We know very little about him, but he is an interesting character. Ewing uses this issue to set us up for what is coming next, but by the end of the issue, you’ll have to question what that is. Storm and the brotherhood of mutants #1 is a good issue to move the event forward. With the way the issue ended, anything is possible for the next.
Paco Medina handles the pencils for this issue. Few artists in the industry can draw a book as flawlessly as Medina does for this book. Everything from the action panels to the smirk on Mystique after she gets attacked looks excellent. On one page, as Ironfire and Mystique tussle, Medina sets the panels slightly slanted. This is used to surprise the reader, much like the action on the page. Medina gives us big pages of battles, like Sugar Man attacking our heroes or a fight with some Chimeras. Everything about the pencils in this issue seems well thought out and plotted. Medina knocks the pencils out of the park on this book.
The colors by Jay David Ramos play just as important a role as the pencils. Ramos has to bring what Medina lays down on the page to life with colors. The colors compliment Medina’s style and allow those images to stand out and pop. Whether it’s using darker backgrounds to show how dark the world has become or bright blue as the team teleports. Ramos makes sure to make mutant powers vibrant as they are being used. When Ironfire unleashes his bolts from his arm during an attack. Ramos uses a stunning reddish-orange color as they fly toward the reader.
Ariana Maher does the letters. Word balloons are placed well and never interfere with the images on the page. Maher places them high enough and out of the way, but they are easy to read as your eyes can slide to each word bubble. I would have liked more sound effects when powers are used, but Maher gives us a nice “CKRAANK” as Storm uses her powers. Maher does a fine job with the lettering and gets better every time she takes on an issue.
Storm and the brotherhood of mutants #1 is a good introductory issue to the series. Al Ewing played to his strengths and gave each character a good voice and personality. The pencils and art couldn’t have been better than what we saw in this book. Storm and the brotherhood of mutants #1 is available at a comic shop near you!